Local military family weighs in on situation in Afghanistan

Dennis and Annette Kelley.png
Posted at 8:33 PM, Aug 16, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For many veterans in Hampton Roads, the situation in Afghanistan really hits home.

One of those veterans is Dennis Kelley, who served in the Navy for 25 years. Of those 25 years, four were during the Vietnam War.

“It’s just like a brotherhood,” Kelley told News 3. “It’s hard to explain. You have to be in the military to understand it.”

When asked about the situation in Afghanistan, he said it makes him feel “disturbed.”

“You know that you’ve been through that, and now we’re going through it again,” Kelley said.

“It’s basically the same thing as far as in Vietnam, [it] just kind of carried over,” he added. “We understand what’s going on over there, but we can’t do anything about it because we’re not in a position [to do so].”

He and his wife, Annette, have been keeping close tabs on the evolving developments in the middle east.

“It was a no-win situation,” Annette told News 3. “We’ve been there for 20 years. I look at all the families that have lost members over there, and my heart goes out to them.”

For Dennis, he has a message regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

“I just want the government to understand that the veterans do have a vested interest in what’s going on, and we feel like we’re being ignored.”

Meanwhile, for Annette, she feels the best thing is to get folks out quickly.

“Let’s fix it, and we can,” she said. “We need to send the troops in there to get the people out; to get the Americans out; to get everyone that wants to get out.”

Related: Fear and fleeing: Taliban takeover in Afghanistan leads to deadly chaos

“This is a humanitarian issue,” Annette added.

Annette also mentioned another concern she has is the future of women in Afghanistan.